|Magic School Bus explores human evolution (Magic school bus)|
Author: Cole, Joanna
When Arnold wishes he had more information for his family tree, Ms. Frizzle revs up The Magic School Bus and the class zooms back to prehistoric times. First stop: 3.5 billion years ago!
Booklist (+) (05/15/20)
The Hornbook (00/03/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2020 *Starred Review* Only Ms. Frizzle could turn a classroom unit on family trees into an expedition encompassing the history of life in general and our species in particular. She leads her students on another magical field trip, traveling 3.5 billion years back in time. Turning into single, simple cells within the sea and observing DNA and cell division, the kids discuss their shifting shapes as the cells transform into increasingly complex organisms, such as tiny sponges, jellyfish, worms, fish, amphibians, and land animals. As the first mammals, they hide from dinosaurs, then change into primates, monkeys, apes, early humans, and modern humans. Back in the classroom, a tree-like biological chart shows many other branches of life-forms springing from the same simple cells. An appended section sums up the evidence for evolution and how it works. The book succeeds in explaining evolution simply while communicating a sense of the immensely long time involved, traced on a spiral time line appearing at intervals. Information appears in text boxes, student reports, and Ms. Frizzle’s comments, while the students’ speech balloons add childlike humor. Created with pen, watercolor, colored pencil, and gouache, Degen’s colorful artwork illustrates the concepts clearly, while adding enormously to the book’s sense of fun. A landmark volume in this exceptional science series. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.